Principal Planner (#RE2003)
$59.03-$71.75 Hourly / $10,231.45-$12,436.39 Monthly / $122,777.44-$149,236.74 Yearly


Under general direction, performs advanced management, planning and coordinating work over a major functional section of the Planning Division; and does related or other work as required in accordance with Rule 3, Section 3 of the Civil Service Rules.


This is the management level class in the professional planning series. An incumbent of this class exercises considerable independent judgment and initiative while broadly overseeing a major planning section such as Current Planning or Advanced Planning. The incumbent supervises professional and technical personnel in the performance of varied and difficult planning work, participates in special projects as assigned, and may perform the most difficult technical planning work of the Division.


  • Manages the activities of a Planning Division section; assigns, trains, directs and evaluates the work of subordinates, including supervisory staff; selects staff as needed; performs disciplinary action when appropriate.
  • Participates as a member of Department's management team; confers with other managers and superiors to keep fully informed of new legislation, regulations, and other developments; helps develop Division goals and objectives; develops, recommends and implements policy and procedure changes as needed.
  • Prepares a variety of reports including complex planning reports; oversees the preparation of ordinance changes, regulatory amendments, environmental impact reports, and other complex planning documents.
  • Participates in very complex planning projects and may perform the most difficult planning work of the Division; reviews, analyzes and makes recommendations regarding development projects.
  • Assists in the development, organization and implementation of community participation programs as well as the preparation/implementation of planning programs.
  • Manages the collection, synthesis, analysis and reporting of data; oversees research assignments; directs the preparation of complex graphic displays and/or illustrations.
  • Meets and consults with other governmental agencies, private organizations, and others as necessary to address issues of common interest.
  • Manages and participates in the process of assisting the public with the interpretation of zoning and planning regulations; investigates and resolves complaints.
  • Schedules and leads staff meetings as needed; attends Planning Commission meetings, Board of Supervisors hearings and other meetings/conferences as assigned; makes presentations as required.
  • Performs special projects as assigned; may participate in budget preparation and other administrative activities.



Experience:  One year as a Senior Planner in San Joaquin County service.



Education:  Graduation from an accredited college or university with a major in urban or regional planning, public administration, geography, architecture, architectural engineering, landscape architecture, economics, ecology or a related field. 

Experience:  Five years of progressively responsible experience in urban or regional planning, including at least one year in a supervisory capacity.


Substitution:  A Master’s Degree in urban or regional planning may substitute for one year of the non-supervisory experience.



Principles and practices of public administration, supervision and management; principles, practices, methods and techniques of urban and regional planning; current laws and regulations pertaining to zoning, environmental issues, land development and the county planning process; principles and practices of economics, sociology, architecture and legal procedure as they relate to modern urban and regional planning; methods and techniques of effective technical report preparation and presentation; research methods and analysis; budget preparation and administration.


Plan, assign, train, direct, and evaluate the work of subordinate staff; organize, direct and implement a comprehensive planning program; develop goals and objectives, project consequences of proposed actions, and implement recommendations in support of goals; analyze and summarize statistical/technical data and prepare clear, concise and comprehensive reports; identify, coordinate and address a wide variety of interests in the development of land use policy; interpret and apply laws, regulations relating to urban/regional planning; appear before boards and commissions and present reports; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; establish and maintain effective working relationships with a department personnel, other County managers, various County and other government officials, private agents, and the general public.


Mobility-Frequent operation of keyboards, sitting for extended periods, standing for long periods, walking, pushing/pulling, bending, squatting, driving, climbing stairs or other objects; occasional crawling; Lifting-Frequently 5-30 pounds or less; occasionally 30-70 pounds; occasionally restraining, lifting/turning heavy objects; Vision-Good vision; frequent reading and close-up work; normal hand and eye coordination; Dexterity-Normal dexterity with frequent writing and repetitive motion; Hearing/Talking-Frequent hearing and talking on the telephone and in person; Emotional/Psychological-Frequent public contact and decision making; frequent concentration required; Special Conditions-May be exposed to dust and varied outdoor conditions; may require occasional weekend or evening work.

San Joaquin County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, upon request, will consider reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

CLASS: RE2003; EST: 5/10/2000;